Entertainment venue project at The Banks a step closer to becoming reality

Banks project moves forward

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Banks is now a step closer to getting an entertainment center after a vote taken Tuesday afternoon.

Businesses and residents are starting to get excited about a possible addition to the Banks by 2019 -- the area could have a new entertainment venue and event center.

"I think it would be great for the city. I've grown up in the Cincinnati area all my life. I remember back in the 90s before we had the new stadium and everything and just the general area. It's been built up a lot since then and I think that's the next natural step to take," said David Donovan a resident in the area.

From 2008 until 2017 there has been a lot of development at The Banks. Tom Gabelman with the Joint Banks Committee says there's more room to build.

"Overall we have a total of 15 acres for future development including the green space," said Gabelman.

During the Committee Meeting on Tuesday, officials said the venue could look similar to other venues in Columbus and Pittsburgh.

The $12- to $25-million project would cater to crowds between 2,500 to 6,000 and Gabelman says it would bring in millions of dollars.

"It's somewhere around $25 million a year and we mentioned it brings in close to 300,000 people," he said.

The Joint Banks Steering Committee voted Tuesday to approve the request for proposals of the event venue and the request for qualifications for a developer.

Though many details still need to be worked out, there were some concerns about selecting a single master developer. One of the committee members fears that could put limits on the project.

"Sometimes a little creative tension between parties can give us a better product," said Steve Leeper, president and CEO of 3CDC.

Gabelman says as the project moves forward and as they receive proposals they will look be cautious to limit exclusivity to developers.

The committee is hoping to have the proposal issued by the first week of February. The goal is to begin construction for the project in 2018 with it opening in 2019.

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